Penn Square Bank

Penn Square Bank

Penn Square Bank was a large commercial bank located in the Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City. The bank made its name in high-risk energy loans during the late 1970s and early 1980s Oklahoma and Texas oil boom. Between 1974 and 1982, the bank's assets increased more than 15 times to $525 million and its deposits swelled from $29 million to more than $450 million. As a result primarily of irresponsible lending practices, Penn Square Bank failed in July 1982.

The bank is often cited as being partly responsible for the collapse of Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago, which had to write-off some US$500+ million in loans purchased from Penn Square. The bank's collapse signaled the end of the oil boom and was the first of 139 Oklahoma banks that failed in the 1980s. The insolvency was the subject of two best-selling books and led to a prison term for the bank's energy-lending chief, Bill Patterson. [cite web|url=http://www.amarillo.com/stories/010403/usn_okcitycivic.shtml|title=AMARILLO GLOBE-NEWS|publisher=|date=2003-01-04 ]

Abilene National Bank in Abilene Texas did correspondent banking with Penn Square Bank. Abilene National Bank later became Mbank then Bank One then JPMorgan Chase bank.

Two books were written about the Penn Square Bank's spectacular failure and the ensuing international fallout:1) Funny Money by Mark Singer is a hilariously-funny account of the many interesting characters involved, and2) Belly Up: The Collapse of the Penn Square Bank by Phillip L. Zweig is a serious examination of the events. Anyone who enjoys post mortem stories of big business failures should consider both.

Penn Square Alumni

* Bill P. (Beep) Jennings (b. 1923, d. 2003)
* William G. "Bill" Patterson

ee also

* List of notable business failures

ources/external links

* [http://www.fdic.gov/bank/historical/managing/history2-03.pdf FDIC history of the Penn Square Bank failure]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D06E2DF1339F930A15755C0A963948260 New York Times Article - 'MICKEY MOUSE IN OKLAHOMA']

References


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